Ashura and Karbala - Spiritual Renewal

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 2nd December 2011 - 27mins 7secs

'Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah as dead. Nay they are living! With their Lord they have provision. Jubilant are they because of that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those who have not joined them but are left behind: that there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. They rejoice because of favour from Allah and kindness, and that Allah wasteth not the wage of the believers'. Surah Al-Imran Verses 169-171

A few days before Ashura the Sheikh began his khutba by noting that Shahada is not to be simply translated as martyrdom, but rather an act of ultimate sincerity and testimony. In the pre-Islamic period a death was a cataclysmic event, but tawhid brought with it the knowledge that as you die, you pass through the veil towards God Himself. This is why the martyr is shaheed, witnesser, as he lays down his life knowing where his destiny lies. 

The Sheikh then went on to explore the themes of the Holy Month of Muharram, a month where acts are subjected further to the Divine Scrutiny, especially in the first 10 days and none more so than on the 10th: Ashura. The history books - sometimes verifiably, sometimes less so - tell of an Ancient day resonating through the ages with tremendous affairs: the day of the Exodus of Musa, the day Allah relented toward Adam, the end of the Flood of Nuh, the day Sulayman was crowned, the day Allah relented toward Dawud, the day Isa was born, may Allah's peace be on them all. The thread that runs through all these events is one of spiritual renewal, a movement from sin toward obedience, shadows to light. 

The day was also of course the day upon which the most tragic event in the history of Islam after the death of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, occurred. The events of the dread day of Karbala are well known and the Sheikh recounted them, but he moves on to ask 'what should be the monotheistic response to this apparently terminal and unimaginable disaster?' Of course grief and sorrow spring forth. But hanging onto the thread of spiritual renewal we note that the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan gave an Ashura speech last year in which he noted that "Karbala is a sign of Unity, everybody agrees on the principle of it, nobody supports the killing, nobody takes the side of the killers". The Sheikh went onto note how Karbala - not just Ashura - is commemorated by the Sunni population in Istanbul, for example at the Sunbil Sinan Pasha Camii in Koca Mustafa Pasha district, where thousands take part in mersiye (lament) poems and read a khatm of the Qur'an for the shuhada of that day. What emerges from these gatherings is a feeling of optimism and joy, spurred on by the words of Allah "they are alive in the presence of their Lord, receiving sustenance". To the extent of what we believe about shahada, something in us is glad. We grieve because those we love are no longer here and their relatives suffer, but in our heart of hearts we rejoice, for they have moved through this Vale of Tears and are in the presence of their Lord, in the highest of gatherings.  

The picture in this blog is the Sancak (standard) of the legendary Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Barbaros Pasha (Barbarossa), who ruled the waves during the reign of Sultan Suleyman. The flag is replete with intriguing symbolism, more here.
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The Hajj Collection

As we received so much positive feedback for our Ramadan Reader, please find below an assortment of resources that centre on the days of the Hajj and the festival of Eid-ul-Adha. 

Talks and Lectures

Hajj: The Inward Spiral - A sermon exploring the deep significance of the Hajj, with its rites echoing in distant pre-eternity when all souls past present and future stood in witnessing before God.

The Purification of Hajj -  A striking khutba discussing the transformative qualities of yearly festival and ritual, moving beyond mere pageantry to times when our selves can be cleansed and elevated.

Sacrifice and Submission - An Eid-ul-Adha khutba drawing the parallel between the sacrifice that Abraham was commanded to make and the ones we have to make when clearing our lives of those obstacles in our lives barring us from the Divine.

Fathers and Sons and Hud and her Sisters - A pair of sermons that both centre on the House of Abraham, which of course feature so strongly and prominently in the origins and the significance of the Hajj.

Ten Good Manners for Hajj - A translation by the Sheikh from Imam Ghazali's magisterial Ihya ulum ad-Din.

From Drury Lane to Makka - A moving account of the first recorded visit English Muslim to the Holy Sanctuary

Hajj: an inward journey - An article published in Emel magazine, exploring the idea that Hajj is a journey on different planes, the effects of which transcend space and even time.

Thought for the Day transcripts

21st January 2005 - Hajj in full swing

Fathers and Sons

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 21st October 2011 - 25mins 54secs

Hagar, that ‘root out of a dry ground’, the most fertile woman in history.
Contentions 1:30, Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad

In the run up to the pilgrimage of Hajj the Sheikh gave a captivating account of the prophetic destinies of the houses of the sons of Ibrahim, upon them all be peace. Highlighting the difference between the Testament and Qur'anic accounts of how Hajar (Hagar) came to find herself in the barren valley of Mecca, the Sheikh shows how then, as now, truth and righteousness is still to be found with the outcast, or in the Prophet's words, peace be upon him, "with the broken-hearted".

However despite the divergences within the great Abrahamic stream we learn that the Islamic message is one of inclusiveness. The Qur'an is replete with the accounts of the scions of Isaac; Ya'qub (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Musa (Moses), Harun (Aron), Dawud (David) and Isa (Jesus). Later in the khutba, after regaling us with the thrilling account of the discovery of Zamzam, the Sheikh tells us of the fulfillment of this other Abrahamic line, with the arrival of Muhammad, the Chosen One, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The universal nature of his mission is resoundingly confirmed with his words "I was sent (as a Messenger) to mankind, in its totality".

Lest our blog-post title intimate to some that the Abrahamic and Muhammadan story is another androcentric saga, the Sheikh dwells during the sermon on the monumental matriarch of our tradition, Hajar. A perfect example of one who would put her reliance solely with God, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, would invoke her memory and those like her on the battlefield when he would exclaim:

"I am the son of heroines, and pure women"

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'Two Ravenous Wolves'

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 7th October 2011 - 27mins 37secs

"Whomsoever wants of this lower life, We shall give him his fill in this lower life, and in it he will not be disappointed. It is these whose affair in the akhira is the fire; empty is what they used to do, and futile their former acts"

This is the unflinching Qur'anic designation of those who set fire on the earth, who set alight their egos and aspirations. In this first khutba of Cambridge University's Michelmas term the Sheikh describes those who, rather than act as gardeners, stoke the fires of the lower potentialities of the soul. The fires of the love of wealth and status, worryingly enticing to many of us are described by Imam Ghazali as 'rukna ad-dunya', pillars of this corrupt world. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, himself put it in his own unique way:

Even two wolves let loose in a flock of sheep would do no more harm more quickly than the love of status and wealth do to the religion of the Muslim believer.

The Sheikh goes on to note that the real crisis of modern humanity is that of status and wealth. In Ghazalian terms these could be described as the acquisitive desires for ownership of 'things' ('Who's on Forbes' list? What kind of car does he have?'), and hearts; the desire for fame. Unfortunately in a reflexive manner we tend to venerate those who have wealth and status, regardless of their qualities. This why Tony Blair can be held as the leader of the Middle East Quartet and head of a Faith Foundation; a Pied Piper leading his entranced faithful to the melody of his own fame.

Fortunately the Sheikh tells us that there is a way to banish these wolves that are baying at our door. Religion snaps us out of the trance. Islam is the sharp tonic that we need but it must be added it does not lead to us to the opposite extreme; only to the middle way. We do have the right to wealth, and a certain status, honour, sharafa. The shari'a grants us the right to property and the right to dignity; the crux of the matter lies in the intention behind what we do, whether we are Princes or paupers. The Sheikh highlights this point by drawing from the example of the Sahaba Abu Dujana, the famous Red Turbaned Samurai-like Warrior of Islam.

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Come Dine with Me

Talk - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - London - 10th May 2011 -  50mins 45secs

You were a prized falcon, trapped by an old woman.
Then you heard the Drummer's call,
and flew beyond space and time...

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi (may God be pleased with him)

Earlier this year Sheikh Abdal Hakim gave an address at an event hosted by Ulfa Aid. He began by outlining the homogenous monoculture bequeathed to us by globalisation, with its lack of family values but perhaps more importantly lack of a belief in the unseen, the magical. This age that we find ourselves in is not modern or post-modern but rather "post-everything"; an age in which the sarcastic quip and the cynical put-down is king. 

Despite this the Sheikh reminds us that within all humans is a capacity for wide-eyed amazement that cannot be entirely blunted. As a respected astrophysicist would have it, 'the strangest thing in existence is that existence itself can be perceived', and answers to the inevitable questions that arise can be found within Islam's cosmological narrative. In this age the truth is posited precisely where the power structures of the day would say it is not; God is not to be found with the well-fed investment bankers but with the seemingly impoverished taxi drivers that drive them around. These are the inheritors to the Ishmaelite tradition, for God is with the outcast, the downtrodden, the despised.

As Mevlana Rumi notes our task in this life is to respond to the calling of the drum. Humanity is not inherently sinful; rather we have forgotten our origins and the incessant beating of the drum led by the Prophets urges us to waken from our slumber, for as Mevlana says 'an-nawmu 'ala-l-ashiqi haram': 'sleep for the lovers is forbidden'. At its start this path can seem exacting. However this is a small effort to be made for us to become falcons, spread our wings and fly to that Court that lies 'beyond space and time'.

Talk published with kind permission of Ulfa Aid. Please visit the Ulfa Aid website, we can't recommend highly enough the work that they have been doing for countless around the world, may Allah bless their efforts and accept it from them.  They will be holding a 'Night Walk' along Southbank, London on 29th October to raise money for victims of the recent Japan earthquake, some more details to be found here. Another exciting development is the opening of the Ulfa Aid shop in Willesden Green next week. Called 'Rumi's Cave' it will be a versatile space that will - insha-Allah - be used as a cafe, antique shop, exhibition area and community centre. Please check the website and mailing list for more details.
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Photograph and videos taken from the Ulfa Aid website, 'Come Dine with Me' event.


Come Dine With Me - Abdul Hakim Murad ( Timothy Winter ) from Ulfa Aid on Vimeo.

Come Dine With Me - Abdul Hakim Murad ( Timothy Winter ) Q&A from Ulfa Aid on Vimeo.

The Presence of the Qur'an

Talk - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 17th February 2011 - 67 mins 55 secs

"He is dead who does not feel the Qur'an move in his hands"
Contentions 6:20, Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad

In this talk the Sheikh addresses an important aspect of the Qur'an, namely the transformative experience of the Word of God in the breast of the believer. Whilst the Qur'an's power is not contained by mere history the Sheikh demonstrates how the Book stands at the isthmus of the Ancient and Modern world and yet belongs to neither time; it exists rather as the driving force and symbol of Islamic civilisation, itself a unique being. Without experiencing the Presence of the Qur'an, with its ability to reach into the mysterious depths of the soul, the phenomenon of Islamic civilisation is not understandable. The question is thus posed: why has this text, often described as being impenetrable, taken up such a prominent position in the lives of Muslims and indeed non-Muslims from the time of the Prophet - peace be upon him - to this very day?

The Sheikh mentions various approaches to the Qur'an, notably exploring Mevlana Rumi's poetry:

"The Qur'an is like a bride.
Although you pull
the veil away from her face,
she does not show herself to you.
When you investigate the Qur'an,
but receive no joy or mystical unveiling,
it is because your pulling at the veil
has caused you to be rejected.
The Qur'an has deceived you
and shown itself as ugly. It says,
"I am not a beautiful bride."
It is able to show itself
in any form it desires.
But if you stop pulling at its veil
and seek its good pleasure;
if you water its field, serve it from afar
and strive in that which pleases it,
then it will show you its face
without any need for you to draw aside its veil."
-trans. William C. Chittick

The image above is taken inside the Mihrimah Camii, Uskudar, Istanbul by the CKETC team

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A Ramadan Reader

Updated with new Thought for the Day - 7/8/11

Please find below a collected of assorted articles and talks from Sheikh Abdal Hakim about the blessed month we find ourselves in. Whilst extensive, this is by no means exhaustive and so if you have any suggestions for additions to the list please get in contact!

Also, please consider donating to the Cambridge Mosque is Moving Ramadan Brick by Brick appeal! Any help you can offer, no matter how modest, would be warmly and greatly appreciated. Details can be found here.

Talks and Lectures

Preparing for Ramadan - How to prepare ones body, mind and soul for Ramadan, this most welcome of guests.

'Abdal Hakim Murad - Ramadan' - A talk given in the last few days of Sha'ban, again about approaching Ramadan with ihsan.

Benefits of Fasting - A talk in the run up to Ramadan about the manifold benefits of fasting.

Restraint in an age of excess - This khutba outlines some of the tribulations afflicting the modern world that fasting - insha-Allah - can help lift.

'Fasting is Mine' - A lecture exploring the hadith qudsi in which Allah says 'Fasting is Mine'.

Charity - A khutba that discusses one of the very beneficial acts one can perform whilst fasting during this month.

'On Ramadan' - Delivered Aylesbury Mosque, UK November 1999

Eid-ul-Fitr - An Eid-ul-Fitr khutba given long ago, a treat to savour at the end of the month!

A Fairtrade Ramadan - From the Radical Middle Way


Ramadan in Turkey - A brilliant snapshot of the vibrant Ramadan experience in Istanbul

The Ramadan Travelogue 2010 - Last year the Sheikh treated us to a daily Ramadan Travelogue, some of them covering his thoughts whilst travelling in Turkey. Sparkling, rich and always relevant, we hope for more entries this year. Please return to the site regularly for more updates on this.

Thought for the Day transcripts

A collection of textual offerings from Aunty Beeb, some directly relevant, others tangentially so (audio here)

15 October 2004 - Retro-Ramadan
1 September 2008 - Annual Muslim Challenge Ramadan Day 1: Attack the Convolvuli
16 September 2009 - The Da Vinci Code and the Night of Power
23 September 2009 - The Hospitality of Eid
2 August 2011 - Ramadan Welcome!

12 January 2004 - Lust: a double edged sword
27 July 2007 - The Fundamentals of Fat

The image above is taken from inside Sultanahmet Mosque (the 'Blue Mosque'), Istanbul. Taken by the CKETC team.

The Last days of the Prophet

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 11th March 2011 - 25mins 23secs

Martin Luther King Jnr once said that
"the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

In this khutba the Sheikh used the passing of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to explore some of the reasons he is considered to be the best of men. Passing through the isthmus between this mortal life into the realm of the next is known to be a dread affair, when all are tested to their limits. In this trying time, when others would trouble themselves only with the fate of their own mortal soul, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, repeatedly concerned himself only with the fate of the community of believers. As the angel Gabriel, upon him be peace, came to him, he could only ask as to the fate of his ummah after his passing. Despite the immense trial he was going through he presented himself to the people for the last time again only exhorted them to good and gave them words of comfort to ease their hearts. He, peace and blessings be upon him, was given glad tidings of being the first to be resurrected on the day of arising: how could it be otherwise for a man whose last words, as he lay in lap of his wife, were "the prayer, the prayer..."

This event, the wafat an-nabawiyya, was the greatest tribulation the Muslims of that time, or possibly any time, had ever faced. Again the situation allowed those companions with the loftiest rank to show their quality. Whilst many were lain low, struck dumb or driven to righteous anger, Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, the second of the two, led the Muslims onward in their journey with the now famous words:

"To proceed, if anyone amongst you used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad has passed away, but if anyone of you used to worship Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die. Allah said, "And Muhammad is but a messenger; the messengers have come before him; if then he dies or is killed will you turn back upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels, he will by no means do harm to Allah in the least and Allah will reward the grateful." (Qur'an 3.144)
The image above is the first line of the Burda, to be found in Topkapi palace, Istanbul. Taken by the CKETC team.

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The Royal Wedding: Ancient Origins

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 29th April 2011 - 25 mins 54 secs

On the eve of the wedding of the to-be Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the Sheikh gave his own take on the fanfare surrounding the Royal Wedding.

The public interest in the ceremonies may have been aroused for a number of reasons, not all of them edifying, but perhaps one factor behind it was a collective response of the fitra, the natural state lying more or less dormant in every individual.

It may have been that being attracted by the pageantry was in fact a respect for the ordinances of that most ancient bond of marriage. The Sheikh mentioned how Adam, peace be upon him, was taught the Names of things by Allah, and that he was not taught them in isolation but rather with a partner, Hawa (Eve). Returning back to his original postulation, Sheikh Abdal Hakim commented that the dual singularity of marriage is in the natural order of things, the modern obsession with the individual identity being an aberration a step removed from the primordial path.

The image above is of the spring blossom - to be found at the time of the wedding - in Selwyn College, Cambridge. Taken by the CKETC team.

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The Mercy of Diversity

As-salaam 'alaykum. Please accept my sincere apologies for the hiatus in posting. InshaAllah a new administrator will be taking over the site shortly, who has more time to manage it and update more regularly. There are some great recordings to come, including Sheikh Abdal Hakim's khutba on the royal wedding (!) among other things.

For those of you who have contributed to the transcription project, I also wanted to thank you sincerely for your response and let you know that we are working on getting the transcripts up online inshaAllah.

So, apologies again for the unscheduled break in posts. Please forgive me for that, and rest assured that regular posts will resume shortly with the injection of some new blood!

In the meantime, here is a very interesting recent talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim on the significance of diversity in modern Britain, which he delivered during Habib Umar b. Hafiz's tour of the UK. You can also see talks by Habib Umar himself here.

Bandwith & Upcoming Posts

We're temporarily out of bandwidth this month, so if you are trying to download any talks you should be able to do it from April 1. Apologies for any inconvenience. We're looking into upgrading or changing our file hosting to avoid this problem in the future.

We've got a lot of great sermons and lessons coming up, including Sheikh Faraz's talk we promised a few weeks ago (sorry, tech goblins temporarily ate it!) and some very moving sermons from Sheikh Abdal Hakim. So please check back soon once the downloads are flowing freely once more inshaAllah!

The Life of Hazrat Shah Shahidullah Faridi

Circle - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 16th March 2011 - 62 mins 4 secs

The last few centuries have seen many an Englishman and Englishwoman convert to Islam. Prominent figures in the modern Muslim collective consciousness, their journeys into the faith have often-time been sources of amazement and wonder to all who would hear them. And yet one would be hard pressed to find an account more stirring and more beautiful than that of John Gilbert Lennard. Born in 1915 into an upper class family, Lennard's heart was turned towards Islam after reading Imam Hujwiri's Kashf al-Mahjub.

In this memorable circle Sheikh Abdal Hakim traces out Shah Shahidullah's life, from the spires of Oxford to the slums of Karachi, from the world of Wodehouse to the realm of Data Ganj Baksh, Baba Fareed Ganjshakar and his own Sheikh, Hazrat Maulana Syed Muhammad Zauqi Shah

In an age of scepticism and doubt, the life of Shah Shahidullah Faridi stands out as a beacon of light, a proof of the spiritual way and the heights that man can reach when he sets out with sincerity on the path towards the Divine.

May Allah accept Shah Shahidullah's efforts and prayers in this life, and grant him the heights of paradise and proximity to the ones he loves in the next. Ameen.

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Islam & Extremism (Arabic)

This interview with Sheikh Abdal Hakim and Sheikh Usama al-Sayyid from Al-Azhar was broadcast on Yemen Radio around New Year. They discuss the topic of Islam and extremism. Good Arabic practice for anyone learning!

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The Idol Within

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutba) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Cambridge - 18 February 2011 - 25 mins 09 secs

It is relatively easy not to be seduced into the worship of idols in the obvious sense - bits of wood and stone, statues of powerless 'gods'. How much more dangerous and harder to avoid are the numerous other ways we distract ourselves from our true, natural orientation to the One and Only God. In this sermon, Sheikh Abdal Hakim warns us against 'dividing the qibla' by placing our own desires and self-satisfaction before our efforts to worship Allah, and describes some ways the scholars have recommended to avoid this 'hidden shirk'.

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Duty To God

Talk by Sheikh Jihad Brown - Cambridge - 31 January 2011 - 44 mins 14 secs

This is the first of a pair of talks we were blessed to hear in Cambridge recently on the topic of 'Duty To God, Duty To Society'. In this first part Sheikh Jihad Brown discusses our duty to Allah in light of how we orient ourselves toward Him with courage, consciousness and authenticity. InshaAllah we will post the second of these talks, given by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani, later this week.

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Enjoining Good, Forbidding Wrong

Friday sermon (jum'ah khutbah) - Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 4 February 2011 - Cambridge - 23 mins 32 secs


In the past days and weeks people all over the world have been following the events in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. The people's struggle for freedom inspires hope, but the dangers they face provoke fear and anxiety. Many question the role of religion in such difficult circumstances. Some fear mixing politics and religion. Others criticise the absence of leadership from religious figures, and say the ulema are out-dated and irrelevant. In this sermon, Sheikh Abdal Hakim provides a timely reminder of the fundamental importance for our leaders of 'enjoining the good and forbidding the bad' (amr bi-l-ma'ruf wa-nahy 'an al-muhkar) - so important that Imam al-Ghazali called it 'the greatest pillar' (al-rukn al-'azim) of the religion.

Among the many great scholars and saints who have discharged this weighty responsibility, despite the grave threat to their livelihoods and even their lives, Sheikh Abdal Hakim mentions Hasan Kaimi Baba of Bosnia, Sheikh al-Hasan al-Yusi of Morocco and Sheikh Amadou Bamba of Senegal. They were true followers of the Prophetic example, because they resisted injustice and oppression. May Allah grant our leaders, our scholars and us ourselves the determination to do the same, and may He in His All-Encompassing Mercy guide and protect the people of Tunisia, Egypt and all over the world wherever they face cruelty, corruption and repression.

Ya Qawiyyu ya Matin ikfi sharr al-zalimin, aslah Allah umur al-muslimin, sarraf Allah sharr al-mu'dhin.

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Purification & Repentance

Friday sermon by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 21 January 2011 - Cambridge - 28 mins 27 secs


In this sermon, Sheikh Abdal Hakim discusses some of the many sayings of the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) that emphasise the importance of ritual cleanliness. If religion is ultimately about the state of our hearts, why should we attribute so much importance to outward ritual? Many Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, conclude of course that we should not. But here the sheikh explains the interconnectedness of all aspects of the human condition, and consequently the fundamental relationship between inward state and outward action.

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From Hippy To Imam: John Muhammad Butt

A wonderful report from the BBC on the life and work of Imam John Muhammad Butt, who works as the Muslim Chaplain of Cambridge University during his time in the UK each year. He arrived in 1960s Pakistan via the hippy traveller trail, and was so attracted to the region, its people and their religion that he became Muslim and went on to graduate from the prestigious Darul-Ulum Deoband.

An amazing life story from which we can all take inspiration. Jaan-Muhammad Sahib, please pray for us back in Cambridge, and we look forward to seeing you soon inshaAllah!

Read the full story here.

The Mawlid of Imam al-Barzanji

Mishkat Media has released a beautiful live recording of the celebrated Mawlid of Imam al-Barzanji. A classic of Islamic culture, it is a sung celebration of the birth and greatness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

The recording was made in Cape Town at the annual Mawlid Jama’at at the Al-Zawiya mosque, under the direction of Shaykh Seraj Hendricks.

The performance is available on DVD, with full English subtitles of the Arabic recitation as well as several bonus features, including an explanation by Shaykh Seraj on ‘Understanding the Mawlid’. It is also available as an MP3 with the recitation of the mawlid only.

Like all Mishkat Media products, all profits go to the Cambridge New Mosque Project!

The History of Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam

The name of Abdullah Quilliam is one that has been thrust into prominence recently, but how much closer are we to discovering who the man really was and what he was about? In what promises to be a fascinating broadcast Shaykh Abdal Hakim goes in search of the truth behind the remarkable story of the first Shaykh ul-Islam of the British Isles.

Find out when the programme will be broadcast

Unity & the Manners of Difference

Talk by Mufti Muhammad al-Kawthari - 11 December 2010 - Cambridge - 56 mins 22 secs


Another talk at the recent FOSIS Winter Conference in Cambridge was by the renowned scholar Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari. In it he addresses the perennial problem of the lack of respect for others with different opinions. He explains the nature of the unity of ahl al-sunnah wa-l-jama'ah and the proper adab (manners) for engaging in debate and respectful disagreement.

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Can You Help This Site?

UPDATE 26 JANUARY 2011: Many, many thanks to all who have volunteered for this project, jazakum Allah kheir. It's great to make this blog more of a group effort! It will take us some time to process the transcriptions we have promised so far, so we don't need any more volunteers for the time being. InshaAllah we will start to post transcriptions in the next few weeks.

If you have promised a transcription in the Comments section but not emailed in yet, please do so we can have your address to stay in touch - cambridgekhutbasetc [at] gmail [dot] com


We are looking for volunteers to help us develop the resources at cambridge khutbas etc. by transcribing one or more sermons or talks.

If you have benefited from the resources on this site, why not help others do the same?

we will then use these firstly to provide transcriptions of the talks here for the benefit of the deaf and hard of hearing and anyone else who would like to read instead of listen.

Secondly, we intend to translate as many of the talks as possible to give speakers of other languages access to good free resources about Islam. We will focus on European languages, as Muslims living outside traditionally Muslim countries generally have less extensive resources.

As you can imagine, transcribing and translating more than 100 talks on this site will be very time-consuming, so we need your help!

Imagine the reward you could receive inshaAllah if you transcribed a talk and it helped someone increase in their belief? Or if someone listened to that talk and then donated to the Cambridge New Mosque Project?

So if you have an hour or a few hours to spare in the coming weeks, please do a wonderful deed by transcribing a talk or sermon of your choice and emailing it to us at the address here. If you do not feel confident transcribing any parts in Arabic, don't worry - just send us the talk without those and we can add them in, but please indicate the time in the recording of the parts you have left out so we can find them easily to add them in.

If you start a transcription for a particular talk, let us know and we will add a note to that entry so no one starts a transcription someone else is already doing. Once the transcription has been sent in, we will update the entry again and add a downloadable file.

If you think you could help with translation, please get in touch as well. We are focusing initially on French and Spanish, but other European languages are welcome - as long as you are fluent enough to give accurate and idiomatic translations. We already have one highly qualified translator working on this project alhamdulilah.

So what are you waiting for? We're waiting for your transcriptions!

The Power of Monotheism

Talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad - 11 December 2010 - Cambridge - 46 mins 59 secs


In this subtle and beautiful talk, delivered at the FOSIS Winter Conference, held late last year in Cambridge, Sheikh Abdal Hakim reflects on the amazing transformative power of a true understanding of the Divine Unity (tawhid). Why was it that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forgave the people of Mecca when he had conquered them? How was it that Islam was welcomed and honoured as it spread? What is it that brings people from all over the world to the Two Holy Cities in peace and brotherhood? Each of these and many many more examples testify to the unparalleled power of the pure monotheism of Islam to overcome hostility, division and the lust for revenge. By fully perceiving the One True Reality, we let go of the petty hatreds of our many apparent differences. But perhaps because we are so familiar with these stories, we seem to have forgotten how clearly this real capacity for forgiveness and empathy contrasts with the usual course of human behaviour. Certainly the state of the world today strongly suggests we are failing badly in our responsibility to enact the message of La ilaha illa Allah. May Allah grant us a true understanding of tawhid that will transform our hearts and through our hearts the world around us.

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